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VI. Foreign Relations

A reception at the German Embassy in Prague after a concert performance of Handel's opera "Il Pastor fido", 24 July 1997.

On a visit to Prince Collalto and his wife (on the right), Castle San Salvatore at Susegana, Italy, 21 September 2000.

Mrs Henriette Johanna von Haugwitz-Beerberg (1932-2010), 1996-2010 a foreign member of the Czech Handel Society.

The Lord and Lady Balfour of Burleigh, in a painting by Juliet Wood (2001).

The broadness of the work of the Czech Handel Society would not be possible without close contacts with the foreign Handel Societies and other public and private supporters. Most of the informal friendships and partnerships date from the time before the foundation of the Society, between 1980-1989, mainly at the annual international Handel Festivals in Halle an der Saale, where the representatives of Handel organizations, leading scholars and musicians used to meet, notwithstanding the iron curtain. After its official foundation, the Czech Handel Society was able to make use of these extensive contacts.

Today the Czech Handel Society keeps in touch with the international Georg-Friedrich-Händel-Gesellschaft in Halle an der Saale, the Göttinger Händel-Gesellschaft, the Händel-Gesellschaft Karlsruhe (all in Germany), the Handel Institute, London, the London Handel Society and the American Handel Society (College Park, Maryland, USA). The same applies to the Handel festivals in Halle an der Saale, Göttingen, Karlsruhe and London.

The name of the Czech Handel Society is respected abroad, which is demonstrated by the fact that the organizers of the 45th Handel Festival in Halle an der Saale (1996, under the auspices of the German Chancellor Dr. Helmut Kohl) invited the Chairman of the Czech Handel Society to contribute to the Festival brochure by an address. On 28 March 1996, four Society members were invited to attend a gala-concert in the Rudolfinum, Prague, given in honour of President Václav Havel on the occasion of the State Visit of H.M. The Queen Elizabeth II and H.R.H. The Duke of Edinburgh to the Czech Republic.

In the Society's numerous foreign contacts, a significant role has been played by the noble house of Haugwitz and The Lord and Lady Balfour of Burleigh; Lord Balfour is a distant relation of the legendary Scottish King Robert Bruce (1274-1329). An eminent member of the circle of the Society's high-born friends was the Italian Prince Manfredo di Collalto e San Salvatore (1932-2004).